Latvia still leads EU on homicides, particularly of women

Latvia continues to comfortably lead in one set of statistics that it would certainly prefer not to – homicides.

According to updated Eurostat data published June 8, Latvia is still the runaway European leader for homicides when measured per head of population, as it was in last year's equivalent figures.

In 2020, 0.90 intentional homicides were recorded by the police per 100 000 inhabitants in the EU. Comparing to the previous year (0.87) the rate increased slightly (+ 0.03).

Intentional homicides, 2020

As regards the EU countries, the highest rates in 2020, were recorded in Latvia (4.9), Lithuania (3.5) and Estonia (2.8) followed by seven countries with a rate between 1 and 2 intentional homicides per 100 000 inhabitants (Cyprus, Romania, France, Belgium, Sweden, Malta, Slovakia).

In 14 countries the rate was between 0.5 and 1.0 per 100 000 inhabitants and in Italy and Luxembourg it was below 0.5. 

2020 saw the absolute number of homicides committed in Latvia increase from 91 to 93. Estonia recorded 37 homicides and Lithuania 99.

Latvia also had the largest proportion of women as homicide victims among EU countries (60%, against an EU average of 37%).

Women as percentage of homicide victims, 2020
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